What’s your name and where do you come from? Do you have a family?
I’m Dave Lieberman, originally from New Jersey, but I’ve lived all over the U.S. and in Mexico and Europe. I live in Disneyland Anaheim, California with an amazing fiancé (also named Dave) and a beautiful 15-year-old daughter.
How did you get introduced to PLT?
My close friend Jessica told me after One Of Those CrossFit Workouts one day about this nutrition group she’d joined. I kind of laughed and said, uh-huh, a bunch of people blathering about which rice cake tastes least like conspiracy to commit murder, oh, sign me up, sign me up. But she added me to the group, and I saw the group for the awesome place it is.
Who is your coach?
Patti ‘Awesome’ Lawson.
Name 3 things that sum up your thoughts on your coach.
Are you engaged in regular exercise/a sport?
I swallowed the CrossFit red pill about four years ago and got my L1 trainer certification earlier this year. I also spend my free time helping out on a friend’s ranch and doing things like bucking 120-pound bales of hay.
How did you find your PLT onboarding experience & community experience?
I love the PLT community. I was already steeped in it when I joined, so my onboarding was easy peasy lemon squeezy, and I was ready to jump in. I’ve made friends in PLT, and I’m still there being a yenta and encouraging other people who have been scarred by other plans such as _ P T _ V _ _ (I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.)
What dieting programs had you tried previously and what makes PLT standout from previous programs?
What didn’t I try? I suppose if PLT hadn’t worked, exorcism would have been the next step. I did Atkins. I did South Beach. I did grapefruit. I did Zone. I did Weight Watchers. I even tried macros. I had the most success with macros (pre-PLT), but unfortunately my adverse health conditions were advancing faster than my waistline was retreating and I ended up having gastric sleeve surgery in order to speed things up.
What was your driving reason for joining PLT?
I had my three-month follow-up with my bariatric nutritionist, who put me on blast for eating 800 calories per day. She wanted me on ¼ cup of food, four times a day. What kind of food wasn’t so important, just the restricted quantity. It would have been about 300-400 calories. I was weak, light-headed, and unable to work, either at the gym or on the ranch. When I pointed out that I was far, far more active than your average obese person, she snapped, “Well, I guess if you want to gain it all back, that’s your choice.” My mouth opened and pure New Jersey came pouring out at high volume, F-bombs and all.
I went home and sent Paul a message that night asking if PLT could help me. And the rest, as they say, is history.
How much weight have you lost with PLT?
Hopefully by the time you read this, it’ll be 50 pounds lost with PLT. That’s 50 pounds gone on approximately four times the amount of food that useless potted plant of a “nutritionist” wanted me to be eating. I’m about 10-15 pounds from my goal weight, which is based on my body fat, not some arbitrary scale number.
How many total inches have you lost with PLT?
I never know which measurements to include in this, so how about if I just say I went from wearing size 42 jeans to size 32 jeans over the course of 9 months. From XXL shirts to L shirts.
What non-scale successes have you found since joining PLT?
There are zillions of them! When I was at my heaviest, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do when I “lost weight”. They’re written on a whiteboard in purple dry-erase marker, so I call them my “Purple Goals”. They run the gamut from “go off your blood pressure medication” (check!) to “go horseback riding” (check—bareback even!) to “climb a rope and avenge Awkward Middle School Dave” (check!).
Some of them are super embarrassing—I was so fat and sick I couldn’t lean over my knee to tie my shoes in the middle, so all my shoes were tied off to one side and I’d trip over them. I couldn’t bend forward to pick something up off the ground. And I couldn’t get up off a couch without using my hand to lever myself up. (Some are even worse than this, and I won’t write them here.) Check, check, checkity check.
But the absolute, most life changing NSVs have been in my health markers. I had a medical procedure this morning and even stressed out and nervous, my blood pressure was 123/75. My A1c went from 5.8 to 5.1. My resting heart rate went from 85 to 62. And all of my bloodwork—ALL OF IT—is normal. My physicians were frankly astounded—even bariatric patients don’t usually resolve their co-morbidities so quickly and so completely.
How have you increased your nutritional education since PLT?
Learning to plan my treats. If you had told Fat Dave that he’d be losing weight hand over fist while still doing things like eating the occasional In-N-Out double-double or a nice slice of Japanese cheesecake, Fat Dave would have given you a shiny toy to distract you while he put in an urgent call to the authorities. One meal or even one two-week vacation isn’t the end of the health success train. And when you do fall off—we all fall off, even Paul feasts on lemon cake now and then—you just dust yourself off, eat a high-protein meal, go for a walk, and shrug it off.
What 1 piece of advice would you give to people considering joining PLT or new members?
Learn to laugh at the scale. The scale is one out of many, many data points that will show you your progress. Measure your body. Assess the fit of your clothing. Write down goals for yourself and track your progress against them. Get your labs done and watch your blood pressure, blood sugar, and resting heart rate change.
The scale is notorious for being an 🍑🍩 and it’s not a gauge of body fat. You can gain five pounds overnight just by lifting hard, eating a salty snack before bed, and then sleeping poorly—it’s not fat, it’s water.